When my friend Sheila Christensen told me that she was writing a book, I was very excited and I was even more honoured when she asked if I would take part in the Blog Hop for Quilts with an Angle.
Sheila's patterns all utilise traditional piecing and a 60 degree grid. Traditionally pieced equilateral triangles, parallelograms, hexagons, diamonds, trapezoids and jewel shapes are the building blocks of her quilts. I may seem like an unlikely fit for this blog hop as the quilts that I share tend to stick to foundation paper piecing, but I love the opportunity to branch out and try new things. Life gets boring when you stick with the same old things every day and I relish the chance to stretch myself and learn new skills.
Unfortunately, the timing of the blog hop has not been ideal for me. I am on strict instructions from my family to take it easy (after an operation last month). While they may not letting me use my sewing machine until next week I'm not going to let them stop me from sharing about this book.
I must admit that before reading this book, I hadn't considered how to efficiently cut shapes with 60 degree angles. I'm pretty sure that I would have fuddled my way to some pretty average results. Luckily, Sheila has done a great job of simplifying every step of the process. She shows how to cut all the shapes using strips of fabric and either 60 degree triangle rulers or straight rulers. This means that you can accurately and efficiently cut multiple shapes in a relatively short period of time.
In the Introduction of the book, Sheila discusses scant seam allowances, sewing 60 degree seams, trimming corners, chain piecing, pressing seams and many more of the basic skills that are important to have in your skill set when embarking on these patterns.
I love the way that Sheila has chosen to present her patterns. The body of the book is divided into eight lessons. The first six lessons each teach a basic shape- triangle, trapezoid, 60 degree diamond, 60 degree parallelogram, hexagon and 60 degree jewel.
Each lesson starts by teaching the basics of the shape. Here there is a discussion of how the sizes are defined. The system that Sheila has developed is clear, logical and remains consistent between the different shapes. There are also clear pictures showing how to cut the shapes using a variety of different rulers and a reference table is given for those wanting to alter the size of building blocks used in the given patterns. Those of you who are petrified by the idea of doing lots of maths can relax. Sheila breaks the method down into easy manageable chunks.
Sheila then builds on this by teaching a quilt block using the shape. I am particularly in love with the Stack the Dishes block from the 60 degree diamond lesson. I am pretty sure that this is top of my list of patterns to try! Here is an example of the block.
To finish each lesson, Sheila presents two quilt patterns which use the block. By so doing, Sheila highlights the versatility of the 60 degree grid as blocks can be used in a straight setting or in a kaleidoscope setting.
Misty Morning is the first quilt pattern for the Stack The Dishes block. Here the blocks are placed in a straight setting and sashing has been used to separate the individual blocks. I love the elegance of the pattern.
Shadow Flower uses exactly the same basic block, but this time they have been set in a kaleidoscope setting with no sashing. Just look at the beauty of this quilt! I love it!
Lesson seven of the book covers 60 degree strip pieced quilts. Three different quilts are included in this chapter.
The designer in me finds the final lesson to be the most exciting one. In it, Sheila encourages people to branch out and start designing their own quilts using 60 degree triangle blocks. My brain is already ticking over some ideas to play with!
After reading this book, I feel confident that I could tackle a quilt which is designed using a 60 degree grid. The book is filled with beautiful patterns which offer a refreshing alternative to the usual to squares and half square triangles. Amazingly, I don't feel intimidated by the idea of doing lots of maths, because Sheila has done such a great job of stripping the technique back to basics.
If you are curious to hear more about Quilts with Angles, check out the other stops in the blog hop. Each stop offers the chance to win an ebook.
April 17th Wendy Welsh wendysquiltsandmore.blogspot.
April 18th Sheila Christensen www.mysteryquilter.com
April 19th Angie Wilson www.gnomeangel.com
April 20th Juliet van der Heijden www.thetartankiwi.com
April 21st Kim Moos www.cottoncuts.com/blog
April 22nd Yvonne Fuchs www.quiltingjetgirl.com
April 23rd Aurifil www.auribuzz.wordpress.com
April 24th Jacquie Gering tallgrassprairiestudio.
April 25th Sheila Christensen www.mysteryquilter.com
*** Giveaway Closed***
Congratulations to Bec, the winner of the ebook.
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I will announce the winner on this blog post on 27th April and will make every effort to contact them.
The winner has 3 days to get in touch with me and claim their prize. A new winner will be chosen if the initial winner doesn't make contact.